Question Sheet: A Satellite of Your Own


Before reading:

  1. Given the title “A Satellite of Your Own,” what do you think you would find

    in the article? 

  2. If you were designing a program to interest kids in space exploration, what

    would you have them do?

During reading:

  1. Who is Bob Twiggs? How is he trying to change space exploration? 
  2. In what ways have CubeSats been used? 
  3. What does “KatySat” stand for? 
  4. Describe a typical CubeSat. 
  5. “We’re going to teach you how to operate a satellite,” Yuan says. “Then, we

    want to turn it over to you as a sandbox for you to play in.” What does he mean? 

  6. Besides education, what is another use for CubeSats?

After reading:

  1. Come up with three questions that you would ask during an interview with a

    high school student helping to design and build a CubeSat. 

  2. Why is space education important? See

    (Revolution in Earth and Space Science Education). 

  3. How are CubeSats launched? See (California

    Polytechnic State University) or 

  4. How could kids use data collected by a small satellite? Come up with a

    project that would incorporate such information.


CubeSats have been developed by students in many countries around the world, including the United States, Japan, Norway, Germany, Canada, Denmark, and South Korea. See (Wikipedia) or (Radio Amateur Satellite Corp). Use the Internet to find a CubeSat project in one of these countries. Where are the students located? What is the purpose of the satellite that they built? When, where, and how was it launched? Some examples: (Aalborg University, Denmark), (Cornell University), (University of Tokyo), (U.S. Naval Academy), (Cuesta College), (University of Illinois), or (University of Hawaii).


  1. Write a letter explaining why your school should participate in the KatySat

    program. How would your school benefit? What would the satellite’s purpose be?

    How would you raise funds to cover at least part of the cost of the project? 

  2. Suppose that your school has been selected for KatySat. Create an ad to

    persuade students to take part in the project.


The digitized picture on your computer is 640 pixels wide and 480 pixels deep. Suppose that each pixel can be any one of 256 different colors. How many different images is it possible to have?